Turning Printables Into Physical Products with Print-on-Demand
Beyond digital downloads, physical print-on-demand (POD) allows creators to effortlessly produce physical products showcasing artwork. Your designs can be printed on t-shirts, decor, apparel, paper goods and more without upfront inventory.
This comprehensive guide covers unlocking the power of POD to transform printable designs into tangible goods. We’ll explore:
- Suitable printable categories for POD products
- Finding the right POD manufacturing partners
- Preparing and formatting printable artwork for production
- Defining profitable pricing for physical goods
- Automating order processing and fulfillment
- Managing customer shipping and logistics
- Driving traffic and sales to POD offerings
- Expanding into diverse on-demand products over time
- Fulfilling one-off custom POD orders
Follow these tips to expand printables into supplemental POD income streams while delighting customers with products featuring original art. Let’s dive in!
Print Categories Ideal for POD
POD shines for customizable art translated to:
T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, canvas shoes featuring original graphics, patterns and motifs.
Framed prints, tapestries, canvases, posters showcasing paintings, drawings and designs.
Spiral notebooks, journals, planners, greeting cards decorated with unique prints.
Pillows, mugs, shower curtains, phone cases spotlighting artwork and scenes.
Artistic invitations, stickers, notecards, bookmarks, calendars etc.
Onesies, backpacks, growth charts, toys with cute illustrations and characters.
Choosing the Right POD Company
Vet manufacturing partners on:
Request samples to inspect reproduction accuracy on fabrics, materials and products.
Smooth third-party platform selling integrations like Shopify simplify workflow.
Diverse product lines enable testing to identify top sellers.
Global print facilities reduce customer shipping costs and delays.
Order Histories and Analytics
Robust reporting on past orders, products and designs provides insights.
Quick customer service response times and production speed.
Compare base unit costs plus margins and potential revenue shares.
Prepping Artwork for POD Production
Format files for optimal reproduction:
Use high resolution 300+ DPI source files like PDFs for sharpness.
Output CMYK files when possible vs RGB for accurate color reproduction.
Size for each product type like standard canvas ratios, shirt sizes etc.
Use POD vendor templates with die lines and safe zones for positioning.
Proofs and Samples
Request test prints on actual materials before major production.
Understand limitations of fabrics, ceramics and surfaces used.
Pricing Physical Printables Profitably
Account for increased costs in pricing:
Factor in base print vendor unit costs for each product type ordered.
Charge more for high-end finishes like framed glass vs budget options.
Offer decreasing per unit prices as purchase quantities increase.
Consider shipping into product cost-plus pricing strategies.
Account for retail marketplace commissions and transaction fees.
Provide subscription buyers discounted pricing to incentivize multi-order loyalty.
Automating Order Processing
Streamline operational workflow through automation:
Connect printing platforms to storefronts like Shopify for automatic order routing and status updates.
Queue multiple received orders before triggering print batches for efficiency.
Send automatic order confirmations detailing creation and delivery timelines.
Sync shipment tracking IDs automatically from printing vendor when items ship.
Digital Asset Management
Maintain centralized design libraries making artwork easily discoverable for reordering.
Automatically capture partial deposits upfront before production begins.
Managing Shipping and Logistics
Balance quality and convenience:
Offer affordable USPS options along with premium shipping for faster delivery.
Use custom branded packing like tissue paper and thank you notes for unboxing experience.
Ship from addresses close to customers rather than just your HQ to shorten transit times.
Insure high-value items against damage or loss automatically based on price thresholds.
Replace immediately if damage does occur. Absorb costs as customer retention investment.
Simplify customs forms. Consider distributed global printing to serve regions locally.
Promoting and Selling POD Offerings
Organically showcase new POD products launching in dedicated posts and stories.
Gift POD products to influencers related to your niche like crafting and home decor bloggers.
Pin lifestyle scene images featuring your POD goods in use attractively.
Remarket to website visitors who browsed specific POD items.
Improved Website Photography
Invest in appealing visual ecommerce product photography for your POD lineup.
Smart Product Listing Copy
Clearly explain POD process, benefits, quality, and care instructions.
Diversifying Through New POD Products
Expand offerings over time:
Release timely designs around holidays, events and cultural moments.
Group products into distinct lines around artistic styles and branding.
Test lower volume runs of new products to validate demand before bigger investments.
Use analytics and sales data to double down on proven top sellers.
Market Research Surveys
Ask followers for feedback on what products they would purchase.
Watch trend forecasting reports to ride rising product and style opportunities.
Fulfilling Custom One-Off POD Orders
Provide personalized service:
Offer tailored text, patterns and photo uploads users preview digitally before POD production.
Limited Edition OC
List truly scarce one-of-a-kind POD novelty items like signed canvases.
Charge premiums for expedited production and shipping on tight deadlines.
Only produce ultra-custom one-offs above certain order minimums to ensure profitability.
Upsells During Ordering
Suggest complementary add-ons like gift wrapping and rush processing during checkout.
Set proper expectations around production time and variability for highly customized requests.
POD empowers creators to expand printable artwork into physical product sales. Choose manufacturing partners strategically. Automate order routing and logistics. Promote smartly and diversify offerings over time based on analytics. With the right workflow in place, physical print-on-demand goods can become lucrative additions to your digital printable shop.
- 1 Turning Printables Into Physical Products with Print-on-Demand
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Print Categories Ideal for POD
- 1.3 Choosing the Right POD Company
- 1.4 Prepping Artwork for POD Production
- 1.5 Pricing Physical Printables Profitably
- 1.6 Automating Order Processing
- 1.7 Managing Shipping and Logistics
- 1.8 Promoting and Selling POD Offerings
- 1.9 Diversifying Through New POD Products
- 1.10 Fulfilling Custom One-Off POD Orders
- 1.11 Conclusion